Prague/Moscow - Czech Foreign Ministry is not planning to deal with the danger of economic sanctions from Russia. Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has recently posed a threat to impose sanctions on countries that will export arms to Georgia.
"At this moment it is not on our agenda, as we do not have signals that something like that happened," said FA Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Opletalová.
But president Medvedev issued a decree last week in which he orders his government to "propose economic measures to countries exporting army material to Georgia". The decree has come in force on January 19, 2009 and is to last through December 1, 2011.
There was a week-long armed conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. Georgia tried to retake its breakaway territory of South Ossetia by force, while Russia launched a counter-attack.
Businessmen taken by surprise
The Defence and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic was taken by surprise by the FA Ministry's lack of interest to solve this issue.
"We happen to be in a difficult situation now," said Association's president Jiří Hynek.
According to him, Georgia is not on among the countries with arms export restriction. So officially, Czech companies may apply for arms export to Georgia but thus risk a failure of business with Russia.
"We need help from the government. They have to tell us what to do now," said Hynek.
Czech EU presidency spokesperson Jiří František Potužník said that he is not aware of taking any action against the threat of economic sanctions from Russia.
Arms for Georgia
According to the latest statistics, in 2007 Czech arms makers exported arms and other military equipment to Georgia worth of eur 13.2 million. Only in 2003 arms makers exported goods worth eur 1.4 million.
"We cannot specify the names of the companies nor the military equipment since we have to observe the Foreign Business Act," Ministry of Industry's spokesperson Tomáš Bartovský said not long ago.
The data about the arms export are to be published later this year. According to Jiří Hynek, the export volume will not be so large as in 2007 when Georgia, Slovakia and India were among the countries with the highest arms export from the Czech Republic.
"But we do not want to let this market go," said Hynek. "Georgia cooperates with NATO and the United States," he added.